Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Phil Spector Retrial: Day Thirty-three

January 27th, 2009

Defense Witnesses:

Accredited Press inside the courtroom: Harriet Ryan of the Los Angeles Times

I'm late. I don't make my train and I have to wait for the 8:50 am. It means I barely have enough time to hit the restroom and get on the 9th floor from the train station.

When I enter the building, I see that the Spector's and their bodyguard are just clearing the first floor security checkpoint. Spector is passing something to Rachelle from either his hip pocket or an inside jacket pocket.

When I get inside the courtroom Linda-in-San Diego tells me that Truc is ill and there will be no court today. Yesterday morning, I did overhear that she wasn't feeling well and that's why AJ presented the bulk of her motions. She spoke very little yesterday. I guess whatever she was under the weather with yesterday has finally hit her "full bore."

There are two new Spector supporters over on the defense side I've never seen before but it appears as if Spector did recognize the very large man in tennis shoes. That request Rachelle Short put out on Spector's MySpace page is still bringing people into court to sit with Rachelle and hopefully get to shake Spector's hand. I'm wondering if that's the only reason these people who don't know Spector show up. Who knows if the jury has any understanding of who these people are or what their motive is for being there. Spector and Susan have a smile or a joke at the defense table. Spector has a big grin on his face. I just see the tail end of the exchange where Susan is smiling and giving Spector an affectionate pat on the arm, or even might have leaned in closer to him to say something. It was quick and I'm sorry I missed the full exchange. Pat Kelly from the PIO arrives. Harriet Ryan enters 106.

Fidler takes the bench. Weinberg is suggesting that since Truc is ill, that maybe they could take Stewart James out of order for the afternoon session, since that will be AJ's witness to cross. AJ has two reasons to object to this. First, Ms. Do has on her computer all the exhibits. Her computer is a MAC and AJ can not operate a MAC; he can't even open the files. Judge Fidler responds jokingly, "You don't have to explain to me."

Three more Spector supporters come to sit with Rachelle. One of them, a tall woman with short gray hair has been here before.

AJ states it is important to his cross examination to use the exhibits. The second issue is that Ms. Do will be presenting part of the closing argument. So, he feels she needs to be here for all testimony. AJ states, "I couldn't feel worse about this."

I think it's Weinberg who speaks up and suggests the other alternative is to break the order of witnesses and start with Stuart James tomorrow. That way Ms. Do could be here to observe testimony and she wouldn't be required to cross. Weinberg is not insisting that the defense continue with Dr. Lakshmanan tomorrow. Harriet exits 106 for a few moments but she quickly returns.

9:40 am: The jury is excused and a few issues are discussed. Weinberg is reporting back on the fountain. He tells the court, "advising the court the fountain only has two settings. It only has ON or OFF. I spoke with Richard Gabriel, who is of absolute integrity... [...] If the court wishes to inquire on that in any way [...] (Understand that this is contrary to what Michelle Blaine has posted in this entry on her blog.)

AJ asks the court to propose that an investigator look at the fountain. Weinberg has no objection to that. Fidler wants the parties to work out the time and place amongst themselves and that he will sign an order "if needed" as a backup. (After court, someone tells me they overheard AJ speaking with Susan to arrange for the investigation of the fountain sometime today.)

Weinberg then brings up the psychological autopsy. "I know the psychological autopsy, that is Ms. Do's bailiwick. [...] I don't know if Mr. Jackson is able to fully respond, but I want to react." Fidler asks, "If you have any cases, certainly I want to look at them."

Weinberg says, "Yes there are and I want to make a couple of comments. WE use them in this trial. We use them all the time. We use DNA. [...] The challenge is to the technique or results."

Fidler responds, "It doesn't prove he was guilty. It proves he was there."

There's more discussion back and forth between Fidler and Weinberg and Weinberg gives the following description and cases. I don't write down the case law numbers, but I did take note of the brief descriptions he gave.

--- A case for giving statistics; a shooting would result from a gang challenge.

---Random matched statistics for DNA profiles.

---Results GAUDETTE study, the probability of matching pubic hairs. (All I can think of is poor Officer Sean Heckers, who had to observe the plucking of genital hairs from Spector).

---Expert testimony about a fateful (?) sparsity of marijuana verses (something that I miss).

---Correlation between amphetamine levels and behavior to affect driving.

---Estimate the actual use of cocaine and seized quantity.

There are a few more cases, where Weinberg just lists the case law. I see AJ and the DA's clerk, Josh, writing everything down.

AJ tells Fidler the only other thing is regarding the STD's. (I think I have that right). These are the subpoena's that were under seal for the expert fees until Weinberg is going to call the witness. AJ is supposed to get the fee information on the experts. AJ states, "Rather than showing the fees until the witness is going to be called, James Pex and Stuart James, I was informed of certain fees. [...] It's not responsive to the court order. [...] The information asked for, billing and invoice information." If I heard AJ correctly, all he received were a few totals of what the expert billed.

Weinberg states, "I don't know why they have to certify, notify and be treated as potential (criminals?). (I was pretty amazed at that comparison Weinberg made.) [...] When I crossed Dr. Herold (and asked her similar questions about how much time she spend on the case) she replied 'I don't know.' [...] That was okay for a prosecution witness. [...] But why a different standard for the defense?" Weinberg argues that he "broke down the expenses," and goes onto imply that his experts shouldn't have to account for when they did what.

Fidler states something to the effect of, that if Weinberg feels there are records by the LA Co. Crime Lab that need to be discovered that can be looked into, but in regards to the defense expert witness, "I don't think those records are free from subpoena. [...] Unless there's a privledge, then it needs to be produced." Weinberg says verbally in open court to AJ that he will get that information to him "today." I'm not holding my breath and I bet AJ isn't either. Weinberg has made similar promises in open court and then reneges or doesn't deliver later.

And that's it for the day.

After court is over, I see one of the new Spector fans get introduced to Spector as he stops in the aisle by the defense area. It's a short partly balding man with longish hair and glasses. He shakes Spector's hand and says his name, "Bart." I don't clearly hear the last name. Outside in the hallway, Linda Deutsch shows up just as everyone is exiting 106 and waits to speak to Weinberg. Here's hoping that Truc is feeling well enough tomorrow to attend court, which should resume at 9:30 am.


Anonymous said...

how depressing

Anonymous said...

Sprocket - thanks for your awesome coverage!


Sedonia Sunset said...

What is PIO?

Anonymous said...

Bless you. I have been looking for coverage of this trial forever. I watched the first trial and couldn't find this one.

Sprocket said...

Sedonia Sunset:

re: PIO
It's how it's referred to around the court house. It's Allan Parachini's department, the "Public Information Office" for all of Los Angeles County

Logan said...

stupid question from me....

what is Phil's hair lookin like this go round? about the same, or is he back to the Hair Bear Bunch look?

zoz said...

That STDs line really made me sit up! LOL! I think they might have been discussing SDTs (subpoenas duces tecum), writs commanding someone to produce documents or evidence in court under penalty of law. Thanks for the great summaries!

Anonymous said...

I keep hoping a strong gust of wind will blow Harvey's wig off of his head, I could use a good distraction from this bad economy...


Sprocket said...

Spector's hair is very similar to what it looked like at the end of the first trial. The best photo of it I've seen so far has been a photo in the Times of the Spector's walking the ramp from the parking lot to the back of the courthouse.

You are correct. These were the subpoenas that AJ handed Weinberg for every one of his experts on the defense list. It was for information on their fees and for their billing invoices.